Rafael Nadal, in his two-decade long professional tennis career, has seen innumerous wins and special moments. Except Australian Open, he has won all the Grand Slam tournaments at least twice.
Roland Garros is famously Nadal's favourite hunting ground - in its clay he has registered a record 12 titles. Even though he is not known for his hard court tennis, he has won four US Open titles and one Australian Open trophy.
Here is Nadal's pick of his five favourite wins:
Roland Garros '05
This was the year when Rafael Nadal announced himself to the world in a huge manner. French Open 2005 was Nadal's first among his 12 titles in Paris and it was even more special as he had defeated Federer in the semi-final, when the Swiss was at his peak. Nadal was merely 19 years old then and he had gone on to begin an era where he would rule the clay court.
Nadal had come into the tournament at the back of his fourth straight French Open title but it was what he produced on the grass that English summer that went on to become a folklore. Nadal not only won his first Wimbledon title but did it by defeating the man who had been ruling it - Federer. That year Nadal had also won his first grass court title at the Artois Championships and then when he faced Federer in the final, he produced tennis that is referred to as the greatest Wimbledon final. Before 2019, the Wimbledon final was the longest in terms of time on court and after rain delays, Nadal won the fifth set 9-7 in near-darkness.
US Open '13
This was Nadal's second of the four US Open titles and what made it special was how he won it. He defeated Novak Djokovic in four sets in the final to not only win the US Open but pick a fourth hard court title of the season. Along with that, he had received a then-tennis record paycheck of $3.6 million.
Davis Cup '04
This was Nadal's first step into the big league. At merely 18 years and six months, Nadal defeated the then world No.2 Andy Roddick to not only help Spain clinch the Davis Cup title but also become the youngest player to register a singles victory in a Davis Cup final for a winning nation.
The year @RafaelNadal announced himself to the tennis world! 🌍
— Davis Cup (@DavisCup) July 28, 2020
Australian Open '09
This is Nadal's one and only Australian Open title. Australian Open 2009 victory made him the first Spaniard to win the title in Melbourne. Nadal was in a rampaging form that tournament winning his first five matches without dropping a set. In the semi-final, he came up against countrymen Fernando Verdasco, with whom he played the second longest match in Australian Open history at 5 hours and 14 minutes to reach the final. The final was once again a Fedal clash and Nadal trumped the Swiss in five sets to win his first hard court Grand Slam singles title.